page contents












  1. MUST be typed
  2. Font size MUST be 14
  3. No weird fonts ONLY Times New Roman or Arial
  4. No light colors ONLY dark color like black, navy, or gray.
  5. NO INTERNET COPY and PASTE! Paraphrase it in your own words.
  6. You may use pictures from the Internet.
  7. The report/essay must be at least one full page, not counting the cover page.
  8. Look at page 23 for suggestions about the different topics you may write about.
  9. Cover page MUST have your NAME, your SCHOOL'S NAME, and your HOMEROOM'S TEACHER'S NAME.
  10. This is DUE next Thursday, April 18th, 2019. If you are going to be absent bring it BEFORE the due date and give it to your homeroom teacher.



Officer Chaple











The human brain is divided into two halves or hemispheres. Most brain functions are distributed across both hemispheres, but there is notable lateralization, particularly in relation to processing language. Both major areas are involved in language skills, Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are in the left hemisphere (for most people). The left hemisphere (convergent) handles the linear reasoning functions of language, such as grammar and word selection, whereas the right hemisphere (divergent) handles the intonation, accentuation, and context.


Both hemispheres process numerical calculation and estimation, but the left is more exact, the right more approximate. Both hemispheres process perceptual information, but information from each side of the body is sent to the opposite hemisphere. Both hemispheres, however, receive information from both eyes. One half of the pupil of each eye sends information to the left hemisphere, and one half goes to the right hemisphere in general (for over 90% of right-handed people and about 70% of left-handed people), the left hemisphere processes perceptions sequentially, perceives cause and effect, and is more logical and objective.

The left hemisphere is analytical, perceiving the parts of things, and it processes normal speech. The following exercises can be used to increase hemispheric integration and to become more aware of and alter hemispheric dominance. Doing any sort of cross-lateral exercise will tend to increase connections in the cerebellum. Increasing hemispheric integration can improve timing, creativity, and general emotional and physical awareness.


Brains need both hemispheres working together, says Dr. Robert Melillo, a renowned author and expert in neuropsychology and neurobehavioral disorders in children. He says, "A balanced brain makes a child's digestion and immune system function properly and also increases intellectual ability," he further explains, “When a child doesn't have a balanced brain, he can have problems with his "motor skills, ability to process information, digestive system, hormones, and immune system." 


The following exercises and activities can be used to increase hemispheric integration and to become more aware of and alter hemispheric dominance. Doing any sort of cross-lateral exercise will tend to increase connections in the cerebellum. Increasing hemispheric integration can improve timing, creativity, and general emotional and physical awareness.




Practice using your non-dominant hand throughout the day: This will offset the habit of using one side of your brain more than the other.


Practice the Colored Pen Exercise: Take several pens of different colors and use each one to write the name of a color. However, the color name written must be different than the pen’s color. Now, instead of reading the words that are written, READ or STATE ONLY THE COLOR not the word. Your right brain sees the color, but your left brain must engage to remember not to read the word.


Solve Math Problems in Multiple Ways: Doing algebraic equations is a linear/left brain function. Drawing pictures of equations takes those math problems over to the right hemisphere. This works for ration, proportion, percentage, rate, fractions, and any mathematical computations, as well.


Learn How to Play a Musical Instrument: Playing musical instruments is very much a right hemisphere activity. However, learning placement of the fingers to achieve certain sounds and reading music engages the left hemisphere.


Mind-mapping: Take your time when doing this. It uses both the left and right side to the full potential. When creating the mind map on anything, use your creativity to enhance the right brain activity. When you mark you map with words, put it in categories and organize it efficiently, you improve you left brain activity.


Bullet Journaling: Basically, you choose what you want to chronicle in a journal. Some people decide to keep track of their daily habits or moods, or how they feel physically, or what they ate. You can also have a section for daily things you need to do, like chores, homework, gratitude lists, and even games and things you’ll like to do, events or places you’ll like to visit, movies you want to watch, dates or meetings with friends. Try mind-mapping in your journal; it’s the perfect place to try it.


Games: Some board games will engage both sides of the brain because there is a visual component to the game and a strategic element. Chess and checkers are excellent examples of these types of game. Players must keep in their heads the visual of the entire board while developing strategies for their moves. Sometimes, they must come up with several moves in advance. Jigsaw puzzles offer the same coordination, dominoes.


Visualization and Hands-on Activity Together: Visualization is a right brain function. If nothing is done beyond that, the left brain will not be engaged. To engage both sides, take up a hands-on project of some sort, perhaps making some shelving, creating your own garden, arranging your room, or making a map of things you wish to achieve or do in the future. Let your right brain visualize the end product. Then, engage the left brain by identifying all the steps necessary to complete the project.


Reading and Writing Mirror Language: Look for a paragraph of mirrored text. Hold the mirrored text towards the right side of your field of vision.


Crossing the Midline of the Body: Play games that literally force you to cross over the middle of your body. For example, march in place and slap the left hand to the right knee and then reverse it by slapping the right hand on the left knee. Do this with playing music in the background, to engage your right brain. March quickly to fast songs and slow down when slower songs play.


Imagination Station: Transport yourself to a world of make believe. Invent your own games or improvise a story involving some toys and act on it. This display of creativity can really help you strengthening your right brain and the sequence of the story strengthens your left brain.


Pencil Push-Ups: Hold a pencil in front of your nose far enough away that you don’t see double pencils but close enough that you really have to focus on it. Slowly move the pencil closer to your eyes and when you see two pencils instead of one, try to focus so that you see only one pencil. When you achieve that, move the pencil even closer until you see two pencils again and then, slowly move the pencil back. Repeat three times. This can help you strengthen the eye muscles and your brain.


Juggling: Juggling is a great brain balance activity because it requires strong motor skills and focus on objects that cross from one side of your body to another.


Word Fluency: Challenge yourself with the help of someone else to list as many words as you can think of that start with the same letter in just 60 seconds. Tell your buddy to keep track of how many words you have listed and watch as you improve your score each time.


Yoga: Take a yoga class, ask your parents for it or go to YouTube and look at a tutorial. Yoga specifically focuses on different kinds of breathing. Getting extra oxygen to your brain can help improve brain function overall. You may be able to focus better and think more clearly.


Play the “What If” Game: This is a great one for car rides. What if we all moved to the moon? What if you could fly? What if Batman was real? Ask yourself "what if" scenario style questions and brainstorm answers about it. This activity will make you to think outside of the box and explore your own creativity while using language skills of the left side of the brain. You could also ask more practical questions. What if I get hurt? What if someone bullies you? Talk about some solutions to those scenarios.


Physical Activity: Step outside and shoot some hoops. Hike up a local trail and take in the great outdoors. Play soccer at the local park. Exercise is a great boost for the brain in general, but sports without the strict structure of a league can help with brain balance. A trip to the park can also be a great opportunity to make new friends and practice social skills.


Art: Bring out your artsy side even if you think you are not art inclined. It could be as simple as getting paint and big pads of paper or you could go as far as ask your parents to find classes for sculpting, painting, or drawing lessons.


Learn to Relax: Stress can seriously hinder brain function. Children and adults can both get to the point of being so caught up in stress that they have trouble focusing and processing information. From meditation to breathing exercises, there's a variety of ways to relax and recuperate.


Reading: Reading is an exercise to develop BOTH the left and right brain.


Learn a new language: Both hemispheres will improve, thinking skills and memory abilities, as well.


Mismatched movement: Tricks like “pat the head and rub the tummy at the same time” are difficult to do. Try this trick: circle your right ankle clockwise, then draw number six with your right hand. Your foot will change direction. Mismatching movements of your hands and/or feet is a good brain exercise that promotes coordination. For example, you can do a bridge pose, and raise one arm up and bring another arm over the head. Here the left hemisphere controls arm trajectory, and the right one regulates arm’s position in space.


Alternate nostril breathing: Nasal cycle breathing appears to be strongly linked to the opposite hemisphere dominance which indicates that doing alternate nostril breathing helps balance the two hemispheres.

  • Take a comfortable seat, making sure your spine is straight. Relax your left palm comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.
  • With your right hand, bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, using them as an anchor. The fingers we’ll be actively using are the thumb and ring finger.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly.
  • Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.
  • Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale. Inhale through the right side slowly.
  • Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb). Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
  • Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.


Balance Pose: While this exercise improves hemispheric integration, not surprisingly, it will also improve your balance. Stand relaxed with your feet together. As you breathe in, bend one leg behind you (raising your foot towards your buttocks) and grasp your foot behind you with your hand. That is, if you raise your right foot, grasp it with your right hand. (Be careful not to strain – it’s a good idea to stretch a bit before starting this exercise.) While you are raising your foot, raise your opposite arm until it is over your head and stretch it backwards a bit, so that your entire body, from the foot on the floor to the arm above your head, forms a gentle curve. Try to synchronize your movement with your breath. While you do this pose, focus your attention on your solar plexus. By the time you have fully breathed in, one foot should be in the hand on the same side and the opposite arm should be raised above your head. Your body should form a slight bow shape with your solar plexus at the peak of the curve. Hold the breath for as long as it is comfortable, then lower your foot back to floor while lowering the opposite arm to your side. Repeat this with the opposite foot. In other words, if you raised your right foot first, repeat the exercise raising your left foot. When practicing the balance pose, perform at least two or three pairs.


Cross Squats: Start with your feet pointing straight ahead, spread apart at about shoulder width. Grasp your right earlobe with the thumb and finger of your left hand. Cross your right arm over your left arm and grasp your left earlobe with the thumb and forefinger of your right hand.

Still holding both earlobes, breathe in and squat (as far down as you are able), then breathe out as you stand up. Now, cross your left arm over your right arm and repeat the exercise. Repeat this for about three minutes, continuing to hold your earlobes and synchronizing your breathing with squatting down and standing up. Remember to switch which arm is crossed over which each time you do the exercise. As you get used to this exercise, extend the time to about five minutes.






By Amanda Morin



Does your child have a hard time keeping one bit of information in mind while he’s doing something else?

For example, if he’s helping make spaghetti and the phone rings, does he forget he needs to go back and keep stirring the sauce?

If he often has trouble with such tasks, he might have working memory issues.

Working memory refers to the manipulation of information that short-term memory stores. (In the past, the term “working memory” was used interchangeably with the term “short-term memory.”)

It’s a skill kids use to learn. It’s needed for tasks like following multi-step directions or solving a math problem in your head.

You can help your child improve this executive function by building some working memory boosters into his daily life.


1. Work on visualization skills.

Encourage your child to create a picture in his mind of what he’s just read or heard. For example, if you’ve told him to set the table for five people, ask him to come up with a mental picture of what the table should look like. Then have him draw that picture. As he gets better at visualizing, he can describe the image to you instead of needing to draw it.


2. Have your child teach you.

Being able to explain how to do something involves making sense of information and mentally filing it. If your child is learning a skill, like how to dribble a basketball, ask him to teach it to you. Teachers do something similar by pairing up students in class. This lets them start working with the information right away rather than waiting to be called on.


3. Suggest games that use visual memory.

There are lots of matching games that can help your child work on visual memory. You can also do things like give your child a magazine page and ask him to circle all instances of the word the or the letter a in one minute. You can also turn license plates into a game. Take turns reciting the letters and numbers on a license plate and then saying them backwards, too.


4. Play cards.

Simple card games like Crazy Eights, Uno, Go Fish and War can improve working memory in two ways. Your child has to keep the rules of the game in mind. But he also has to remember what cards he has and which ones other people have played.


5. Encourage active reading.

There’s a reason highlighters and sticky notes are so popular! Jotting down notes and underlining or highlighting text can help kids keep the information in mind long enough to answer questions about it. Talking out loud and asking questions about the reading material can also help with this. Active reading strategies can help with forming long-term memories too.


6. Chunk information into smaller bites.

Ever wonder why phone numbers and social security numbers have hyphens in them? Because it’s easier to remember a few small groups of numbers than it is to remember one long string of numbers. Keep this in mind when you need to give your child multi-step directions. Write them down or give them one at a time. You can also use graphic organizers to help break writing assignments into smaller pieces.


7. Make it multisensory.

Processing information in as many ways as possible can help with working memory and long-term memory. Write tasks down so your child can look at them. Say them out loud so your child can hear them. Toss a ball back and forth while you discuss the tasks your child needs to complete. Using multisensory strategies can help your child keep information in mind long enough to use it.


8. Help make connections.

Help your child form associations that connect the different details he’s trying to remember. Grab your child’s interest with fun mnemonics like Roy G. Biv. (Thinking about this name can help kids remember the order of the colors in the rainbow.) Finding ways to connect information helps with forming and retrieving long-term memory. It also helps with working memory, which is what we use to hold and compare new and old memories. Memory-boosting tricks and games are just some of the ways to help your child with executive functioning issues. If your child continues to have significant difficulties with working memory, it might be a good idea to get an evaluation for possible attention issues. You may also want to explore tips from experts on topics like getting organized and managing attention.


















November 7th, 2018


Dear Parents,


It’s Turkey Time at BTE!


The fifth-grade teachers, wish to invite you to participate in our “Family Turkey Affair”. What is a “Family Turkey Affair”? It’s an opportunity for the family to work together on a common project. You may do anything you wish with your turkey template given to you EXCEPT enlarge the pattern or use another pattern.


The turkeys will be evaluated and voted on:


  • Originality of design and theme
  • Use of materials (If using food items, use only dry, uncooked, non-sweet items, please for obvious reasons)
  • Use of color, texture, and shape


Prizes will be awarded to each individual class for both 1st and 2nd places.

In addition, a grand prize will be awarded for the best all-around turkey in the entire BTE’s fifth grade.

Turkey projects will be due on Friday, November 16th, 2018. If your child is going to be absent on that day, please bring the “Family Turkey Affair” project before the due date.

Please, make sure your child writes his/her name on the BACK of the project! This is to ensure an unbiased voting.




The Fifth Grade Teachers














  1. Titles and sub-titles/sub-headings are to be underlined in pencil. These hint nat the main idea of the text or paragraph.
  2. Enumerate each paragraph and text feature such as illustrations with captions, illustrations without captions, diagrams, graphs, map, etc.
  3. Get ready 3 colored pencils or pens, RED, GREEN, and BLUE. (DON'T use crayons, markers, or highlighters)
  4. Vocabulary words that are BOLD or Itallized or are words that are defined on the text are to be CIRCLED in RED.
  5. The definitions of words circled in red are to be UNDERLINED in BLUE.
  6. Finally, any further explanations or examples given in text, pictures, graphs, or diagrams to help understand the vocabulary is to be BOXED in GREEN.












During the visit to the Biscayne Nature Center for Environmental Education (BNCEE), each student participates in several field and/or laboratory investigations depending on the length of visit, tides, weather, and other environmental conditions. Fifth-grade students attend for one or two days. Before taking part in activities at the Nature Center, students are given a review of safety rules and information concerning potentially harmful land and sea organisms. Five major interdependent relationships in nature are stressed throughout the program.


They are:



The woodland investigation involves a meander through the coastal hammock of northern Key Biscayne where the teacher and students relate the five major interdependent relationships in nature to the plants and animals they observe. Evidence of environmental problems and selected harmful organisms in the habitat are identified.


Onshore and offshore activities may include investigations of the seagrass habitat, rock reef, mangrove swamp, intertidal zone, and sand dunes. The seagrass and/or mangrove investigations involve wading when conditions permit. Students are required to wear life jackets during the seagrass investigation. A minimum of NINE ADULTS FROM THE PARTICIPATING SCHOOL (i.e. one adult chaperone for every five students) are needed IN THE WATER for the wading investigations.


The progression laboratory session offers students the opportunity to closely examine organisms found in the marine habitat. Students are actively involved in observing

marine organisms, using microscopes, retrieving computer data, handling live animals, and measuring invertebrate specimens. Observations, drawings, and measurements are recorded in a laboratory booklet for further discussion at the school.


The program activities focus on:


1. Looking for evidence of the 5 major interdependent relationships in nature: Variety, Patterns, Balance, Change, and Adaptation.


2. Looking for evidence of environmental problems, discussing their solutions, and planning to conserve the environment by not littering and by protecting wildlife.


3. Observing safety procedures and identifying harmful land and sea animals and plants.


4. Working like a scientist; that is, observing carefully, recording accurately, making claims, providing evidence to support their claims, interpreting data, and arriving at explanations (reasoning) that support their claims.


5. Recognizing natural habitats and the plants and animals that live in those habitats. Deciding why it is important to leave these habitats in their natural state.






The program at the Biscayne Nature Center for Environmental Education is designed so that students can learn about the environment and have fun at the same


time. For a safe visit, STUDENTS MUST observe the following safety rules as well as any other instructions given by BNCEE Staff:



1. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM AT ALL TIMES: Stay with your buddy and remain with your group throughout the program. If health or restroom needs make it necessary to leave the group, you must get permission from your teacher and be accompanied by an adult.






3. SHOES ARE TO BE WORN AT ALL TIMES: Shoes must be worn in the water, because there may be bottle tops and broken glass, which may cause injury. Many plants and animals are harmful when stepped on. Open-toed shoes, sandals, or Crocs™ are NOT acceptable.



4. STAY WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES GIVEN YOU: During the wading investigation, stay between the instructor and the shore. Stay in line behind the instructor and in the middle of the open pathways while you are in the woods.



5. REPORT ALL INJURIES OR ILLNESSES: First-aid supplies are available.



6. ONLY TOUCH those plants or animals given to you or which you are told to touch.



7. IN CASE OF STORMS, be quiet, listen and follow instructions. Alternative activities will be planned.
















1. I have the Parent Permission Form for the Water-Related Field Trip form completed and signed (in two places) by one of my parents. The emergency contact name, phone numbers have been filled in. I gave the completed form to my teacher.



2. I have packed a towel and a complete change of clothes including underwear and shoes for both days. I have included a plastic bag for wet clothes.



3. I will bring with me a raincoat, sweater or jacket, sun hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent (no sprays, please) as appropriate.



4. I have packed a lunch in a strong bag with one or two canned drinks (no glass bottles or thermos jugs) Lunches and drinks are clearly identified with my name. I have packed a lunch that does not require refrigeration.



5. I know my buddy’s name and am aware of all the student safety procedures.



6. I will wear shoes that can get wet. I will wear shoes, shorts, and shirts for wading. I will not wear a bathing suit, sandals, Crocs™ or open-toe shoes. For cold weather wading, I will be prepared to wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt in the water. Old sneakers, water shoes and booties are acceptable.








 10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

by Sarah Rudell Beach


1. Keep it simple. With older kids, you can share the widely-used definition from Jon Kabat-Zinn in the image above. But those are a lot of big words for little kids. I prefer to use the words awareness or noticing with my children {ages 5 and 7, for reference}. Mindfulness is noticing our thoughts, what our body feels like, what our ears are hearing, and anything else that is around us and happening right now.


2. Listen to the bell. An easy way for children to practice mindfulness is to focus on paying attention to what they can hear. I’ve used a singing bowl, like the one on the right, for this exercise, but you could use a bell, a set of chimes, or a phone app that has sounds on it. Tell your children that you will make the sound, and they should listen carefully until they can no longer hear the sound (which is usually 30 seconds to a minute). I find that this exercise does have a calming effect on my children, and it’s a fun way to teach them to pay attention to their surroundings.


3. Create a mindful bedtime ritual. Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids. My daughter loves to do a short body-scan meditation before bed, she closes her eyes, and I tell her to bring her attention to her toes, to her feet, to her legs, etc. It is a calming way to return to the body at the end of the day. You can find several downloadable meditation scripts (including body scans) here, and you can read about the bedtime ritual my daughter and I created here.


4. Practice with a breathing buddy. For young children, an instruction to simply “pay attention to the breath” can be hard to follow. In this Edutopia video, Daniel Goleman describes a 2nd-grade classroom that does a “breathing buddy” exercise: each student grabs a stuffed animal, and then lies down on their back with their buddy on their belly. They focus their attention on the rise and fall of the stuffed animal as they breathe in and out. {You should check out the video, it’s less than 2 minutes and explains the exercise and all the good stuff that it teaches kids!}


5. Make your walks mindful. One of my children’s favorite things to do in the summer is a “noticing walk.” We stroll through our neighborhood and notice things we haven’t seen before. We’ll designate one minute of the walk where we are completely silent and simply pay attention to all the sounds we can hear — frogs, woodpeckers, a lawnmower. We don’t even call it “mindfulness,” but that’s what it is.


6. Establish a gratitude practice. I believe gratitude is a fundamental component of mindfulness, teaching our children to appreciate the abundance in their lives, as opposed to focusing on all the toys and goodies that they crave. This post describes my family’s nightly gratitude practice — each night at dinner we each share one thing we are thankful for. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.


7. Try the Spider-Man meditation! My five-year-old son is in to all things superheroes, and this Spider-Man meditation is right up his alley. This meditation from Kids Relaxation teaches children to activate their “spidey-senses” and their ability to focus on all they can smell, taste, and hear in the present moment. Such a clever idea!


8. Meditate with your children. I cannot even tell you how many times my meditation sessions have been interrupted by my children. They know by now what mommy is doing when she meditates, so I will try to continue with my meditation even as they play around me. Sometimes, my daughter will sit down and join me for a few minutes. It’s beautiful.


9. Check your personal weather report. In Sitting Still Like a Frog, Eline Snel encourages children to “summon the weather report that best describes [their] feelings at the moment.” Sunny, rainy, stormy, calm, windy, tsunami? This activity allows children to observe their present state without overly identifying with their emotions. They can’t change the weather outside, and we can’t change our emotions or feelings either. All we can change is how we relate to them. As Snel describes it, children can recognize, “I am not the downpour, but I notice that it is raining; I am not a scaredy-cat, but I realize that sometimes I have this big scared feeling somewhere near my throat.”


10. Practice mindful eating. The exercise of mindfully eating a raisin or a piece of chocolate is a staple of mindfulness education, and is a great activity for kids. You can find a script for a 7-minute mindful eating exercise for children here. This is a fun way to teach children to pay attention to and savor their food, and by extension, the present moment.


Above all, remember to have fun and keep it simple. You can provide your children with many opportunities to add helpful practices to their tool kit, some of them will work for them and some won’t. But it’s fun to experiment!

Teach mindfulness to your kids, it can help them develop emotional regulation and cognitive focus.